Weatherford Democrat

January 26, 2014

Comedian signs in with hearing impaired students


Weatherford Democrat

— Deaf Ed students representing several Parker County school districts were treated to a special assembly by American sign language comedian Keith Wann Friday morning in the Wright Elementary cafeteria.

Wann, 45, is a CODA (children of deaf adults) interpreter and caters to all hearing, deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences. He also spends a lot of time traveling across the country teaching workshops and even interpreting on Broadway.

Over the past 10 years, he has been dubbed as America’s funniest ASL comedian while continuing to bridge misconceptions and cultural gaps between the deaf and hearing worlds.

“We strive to raise awareness about ASL through comedy,” Wann said, “and we also believe in fully supporting the ASL community while offering ASL entertainment and learning.”

Wann spent nearly an hour and-a-half talking and interacting with the Deaf Ed students on Thursday. At the conclusion of the assembly, he answered various questions from the audience and even posed with students in numerous photo opportunities.

“We were very lucky to have a person of Keith’s caliber to come talk to our students,” Brazos River Regional Day School for the Deaf Coordinator Angela Belding said. “He’s not just a storyteller, but he actually brings the stories to life.”

Wann is also a stand-up comedian and performed his ASL Comedy Tour 2014 on Friday at Tarrant County College;s Trinity River Campus in Fort Worth. His visit to Wright Elementary was made possible through an interpreter friend at no cost to the district.

Wann also has more than 250 videos published on YouTube, but he warned that while some are catered for children, most are geared for adult-only audiences.